News Brief: First Circuit Relocates to HLS


Last Wednesday the First Circuit Court of Appeals sat far from their usual location at the John J. Moakley Courthouse in downtown Boston. Instead, the Ames Courtroom was host to a morning session of the court, in which attorneys in six real cases conducted an oral argument before a three-judge panel. The sitting was arranged as part of the First Year Lawyering program and was attended by the entire 1L class in their best business casual. The Hon. Bruce Selya (HLS ’58) welcomed the students, and noted Harvard’s long connection to the First Circuit. In the past, the entire membership of the court has been made up of HLS alumni. Selya noted this is no longer true, at which the Hon. Sandra Lynch, a Boston University graduate, added “Thankfully.” Selya disagreed, quipping, “That’s one of the few of Judge Lynch’s decisions I dissent from.” The Hon. Kermit Lipez, who recently sat in the Ames Courtroom as part of the moot court preparing the Oregon assistant attorney general for argument in Gonzales v. Oregon, rounded out the panel.The morning’s cases ranged from immigration and employment to arbitration and criminal law. First Year Lawyering Director Elizabeth Bangs was pleased the school had pulled off the session. It took a letter from Dean Elena Kagan to Chief Justice Michael Boudin, and then several strategic phone calls from Climenko Fellows who were former clerks at the court. “To our knowledge, we’ve never had a court like this come for a real sitting before,” she said. “We’re thrilled to get them and we’re really hoping we can get them back.”

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